Best campaigner: Lily Kember
Saturday 17 April 2010
The government's disastrous plan for a third runway at Heathrow Airport is on the ropes. And the campaigning of Lily Kember is a major reason why. Just over a year ago, Lily and almost 60 other activists from Plane Stupid brought Stansted Airport to a halt. On a freezing December morning, they used bolt-cutters to enter a secure area and stopped flights from taking off. Still a student at the time, Lily said: "Being arrested is a terrifying prospect, but it is not nearly as terrifying as the threat of climate change."
Lily has also protested against the expansion of Edinburgh airport. SNP leader Alex Salmond backed the climate-wrecking plans, and seemingly decided that his constituents wouldn't mind the extra din as more planes roared over their homes. So Lily woke him up at 3.30am by playing exactly the kind of cacophony to which the people of Edinburgh would be subjected.
And now Lily is actually living at the coal-face of the campaign to prevent airport expansion. She's moved to Sipson – the village that will be demolished if Heathrow's third runway ever gets built. And along with others from Transition Heathrow, Lily has staked a claim on a patch of land that once used to be a thriving market garden and, working together with the residents of the village, they're reviving it to its former glory once again. Both activists and locals are working hard together. They've cleared the scrap that was there and now they're planting fruit and vegetables.
Lily's actions have united people from different backgrounds against the third runway. She's been an important part of vital groups like Plane Stupid and Transition Heathrow. That's why she's my choice for campaigner of the year.
John Sauven is the executive director of Greenpeace
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